Trouble in Portland

Earlier this week, 18 year-old Kyle Ritenour, who was accused of double murder, was acquitted of all charges. Kyle is a like a political lightening rod. The Left sees him as a murder; while the Right sees him as a hero. Actually, he is somewhere in the middle of those two extremes.

I don’t know what motivated Kyle to have his mother drive him to Portland, Or., where he carried an AR15 into the midst of a riot. A very left-wing riot, I may add. The crowd, which was attempting to burn down federal buildings and throwing frozen water bottles at the police, was totally out of control. And the mayor of Portland and governor of Oregon didn’t seem to care about it. Is it so hard to believe that some citizens would take the law into their hands. I think not.

Why we need a Jan. 6 Commision

On Jan. 6, 2021 a band of hooligans stormed the United States Capital building. (video) Make no mistake in thinking otherwise, this was an attemped coup of the United States Government. The intent of the mob (there’s no more accurate way to describe them) was to stop the certification of the 2020 election between Joe Biden and Donald Trump. Biden was decared the legitimate winner and, though the Trump organization issued challange after challenge concering the results of the election, over 40 different judges (Republican and Demorat) ruled that there were no irregularities in the voting. The mob crashing the Capital gates yelling “stop the steal.” The video here is a shortened version of the one witnessed by the Jan. 6 commission. It depicts a group of mad idealogues assualting policemen, destroying property, and threatening to–believe it or not–hang Vice President Mike Pence.
Warning: this video contains obscene language and violence.

Courtesy of NBC News

Short History of the Cold War

The End of the Romanov Dynasty and the Origins of Communist Russia

In 1918 the Bolsheviks (nascent Communist Party) executed the Tsar, Nicholas Romanov and his entire family. Thus, eliminating a long line of tyrannical monarchies, which would soon be replaced by another type of tyranny, communism,  under the “leadership” of Vladimir Lenin. The big three of the early communist party were Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, and Leon Trotsky (who was assassinated, at the behest of Linin, in Mexico. Featured in the movie, (Kahlo) Trotsky’s only fault was that he wanted more democratic reforms in the communist system. Lenin, an ego maniac, would not hear of such a foolish thing, and in order to nip Trotsky’s “dangerous” idea in the bud, he had him “terminated with extreme prejudice,” to borrow a phrase from the C.I.A.

WWII

Having the second largest navy in the world, after Great Britain’s, and a powerful economy, the U.S. had nothing to fear about Lenin or the Bolsheviks.

England declared war on Germany, Sept. 3, 1939, after the Nazis invaded Poland. France also declared war on Germany, shortly after Britain had. Although the Germans were able to invade and occupy France, beginning with the Vichy invasion on Nov. 10, 1942, the Germans weren’t able to crack the Anglo Shield, because for  the next two years, Great Britain stood its ground and was the only European country that the Nazis were unable to invade. However, Winston Churchill desperately tried to persuade the U.S. to join the Brits in the fight against Hitler. Roosevelt wanted the U.S. to join Great Britain in fighting Hitler and the Nazi’s, but because popular opinion was against “getting into another war,” Congress would not vote for war.

However, the tide was soon to turn, when, in 1941, Japan pulled a sneak attack on the U.S Navy with its attack on Pearl Harbor. This event brought the United States into the war. We joined forces with England, Australia, and Canada, and others in World War II to fight the Japanese and the Germans.

Hitler’s biggest mistake was to invade Russia. The Russians held the Nazis at bay and eventually defeated them. One of the strangest turn of events, was that during WWII, the Russian Communists were our allies. In war, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Russia made a bigger sacrifice than we and rest our allies did. Twenty million Russians died fighting the Nazis on the Russian Front.

After WWII

After the end of the War, Josef Stalin (Russia), Winston Churchill (U.K.), and Harry Truman (United States) met at Potsdam, Germany (July 17-Aug 2, 1945) and decided which countries in Europe would become “Spheres of Influence” for the victors of the war. For Russia (Soviet Union) it would be Eastern Europe. Romania, Yugoslavia (current day-Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Slovenia) Czechoslovakia, (now the Czech Republic) Estonia, and Ukraine. The Russians “allowed” each of these countries self-rule, as long as their governments were members of the Communist Party, essentially extending Stalinist Dictatorship throughout Eastern Europe.

Nuclear Stalemate

July 16, 1945

The world’s first nuclear explosion occurred on July 16, 1945, when a plutonium implosion device was tested at a site located 210 miles south of Los Alamos, New Mexico, on the barren plains of the Alamogordo Bombing Range, known as the Jornada del Muertos  (Wikipedia) The first two bombs developed in Los Alamos, developed by American Nuclear Physicists Robert Openheimer, Neils Bohr, and Edward Teller and called Fat Man and Little Boy. Fat Man was the first A-Bomb ever exploded.

Less than one month after the A-bomb was tested, on August 6, 1945, U.S. Airforce plane called the Enola Gay, dropped an Atomic Bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, with devasting consequences.  

The U.S. had been dropping thousands of flyers warning the people about the coming blast, and they warned Emperor Hirohito, an asked him to surrender. However, the emperor and the people of Japan thought the U.S. was bluffing and probably didn’t have such a bomb. The amazing thing is, even after the bomb had devastated Hiroshima, the emperor still wouldn’t surrender. However, after the U.S. dropped the second A-bomb (this one on Nagasaki) August 9, three days after the first, the emperor came to his senses and finally surrendered. Shortly after that, the United States occupied Japan and declared Marshal Law. The U.S. also helped rebuild their devastated cities.

A note about Harry Truman’s decision to drop the bomb:

You may here people say that the U.S. was inhumane to drop the A bomb on Japan. You might even hear us accused of being racist. After all, we were at war with Germany too. And since German’s are white, they were spared the A Bomb.

That’s pure bullshit, and here’s why. By the time we developed the Atomic Bomb, Germany was besieged by the Red Army on the Russian Front. The allies knew that Germany and Nazi’s were just about finished. Japan was another story.

Our troops had bloody battles with the Japanese to take the islands of Iwo Jima and Okinawa,. and our military estimated that we would lose over 300,000 men if we had envaded the Japanese mainland.

How Russia—United Soviet Socialist Republic or U.S.S.R stopped being our friend and became our enemy.

For one thing, during World War II we were never really friends with the Russians, but rather allies. It was a convenient arrangement for us because as I mentioned the Russians did a terrific job in eliminating many Nazis, at a great cost though. It’s been estimated that Russians lost 20 million men women and children during the war. We were always diametrically opposed to the Russians way of life, that is, communism. After World War II, both superpowers (USA and Russia) declared their sphere of influence. Each country wanted a buffer between them and possible invaders. For Russia, it was Eastern Europe. But the United States, it was South America and Cuba.

It was understood, that neither country would ever try to invade and occupy any of the countries in the sphere of influence. (The Russians violated this agreement in 1962, when they placed missiles in Cuba, which resulted in the Cuban missile crisis)

Even though Russia essentially won the war by defeating the Nazis, many people in the U.S. Government, were less than enthusiastic about the fact that the “commies” were our allies. And after the war, it became clear that the Russians were not our allies and that they posed a grave threat to the United States and the rest of the free world.

Cuban Missile crisis.

This was one of the scariest military standoff in U.S. history.

America flew spy missions regularly with their U2 planes, which could fly much higher than other planes, so they were undetectable by radar. The U2s would take pictures of specific sites, determined by the DOD (Department of Defense). In October of 1962, the pictures from the spy planes revealed missile sites in Cuba but the missile’s themselves were yet to be installed. he Russians were planning to bring them in by boat and then to install them. President Kennedy made it clear the he would not allow missiles to come into Cuba, which is only 90 miles away from the U.S. and posed a significant threat. The Russians sent a battle cruiser, stocked with the missiles intended for Cuba.

The U.S. response was a naval blockade. Then came the scary confrontation when the Russian ship carrying the missiles and the ships of the naval blockade faced each other out at sea. The world held it’s breath, but, thank God, the Russians had the good sense to back down. There were other scary moments during the Cold War, but none as scary as the Cuban Missile crisis. 

For the sake of brevity, I will stop here, at 1962, but keep in mind that Cold War continued for another 29 years, till 1991. For as long as Russia was held in the iron grip of the Communist Party, we had to remain vigilant and try to keep Communist aggression in check.

Why I’m Losing Sleep

I fear that in 2024, the next presidential election cycle, it will be far worse, maybe even a police state. This is no idle chatter. I’m serious and the thought of what is to come keeps me up at night. I’ve read numerous articles across the political spectrum and watched plenty of videos. Throughout my reading and viewing I focused, primarily, on the actual events and words attributed to Donald Trump, who has a strangle hold on the GOP. His grip is so tight that his minions in Congress will lie through their teeth and turn a blind eye to the obvious truth, rather than say a bad word against the former president. When people who have a shred of decency go against the grain, like Mitt Romney and Liz Cheyney, they are threatened with being primaried or have their committee leadership stripped. Woe is the U.S.

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind: Trump is the only president to snub the inauguration in 150 years. He is also the only president ever who refused to concede the election results. Yet, his rabid fans don’t seem to mind, which is very concerning.

This is something you would expect to happen in some banana republic, not the United States. The video below provides a good summary of what I fear for us. God Bless and protect the United States.

Why Coldwarbaby?

As an early Baby Boomer, I grew up in the terrifying shadow of nuclear devastation, the ultimate result of hostilities between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.I was fourteen years old during the Cuban missile crisis, when my parish priest and nuns urged us to “pray for peace.” Thank God Khrushchev and Kennedy decided not to start WWIII, and we all breathe a sigh of relief. After that, I realized that I should pay closer attention to U.S.–Soviet relations, i.e. The Cold War. Throughout the Cold War (1946-1991) not single shot was fired, but several scary situations gave me sleepless nights. Now, we don’t have a unified Soviet Union to worry about, but Russia still has a couple of thousand missiles aimed at us, as we have at them. I’m relatively certain that we and the Russians don’t want to blow up the world, but mistakes can be made. Both sides rely heavily on electronics to monitor and guide weapons of mass destruction. Even computers make mistakes.

The Motherland

You might be wondering why I call the U.K. the Motherland. No, I’m not English. My ancestors came from Southern Italy and so many other people of Latino, Asian, or European lineage can trace their ancestry to some other country that isn’t England. However our court system, structure of government, and—don’t forget—the English language, which is the most widely spoken across the U.S. (for now). So, even though we fought two wars against the British, by the end of the nineteenth century until today, Great Britain has been our closest ally and our rapport with England has come to be known as the “Special Relationship”

How to heal our nation.

First, we need start honoring the truth. I have watched seven presidential campaigns, in my lifetime. Many candidates from both parties have lied at times. I can accept that because that’s part of politics. But Donald Trump’s lying is beyond the pale, it’s pathological. The Washington Post has documented, and fact checked Trump’s lies for the past four years. Trump has lied over 40.000 times. You can check it out for yourself https://wapo.st/3k1z15E. Of course, Trump’s prevarication is not the only problem, we also have to deal with the alternate reality of the QAnon followers.

On the other side of the aisle, so to speak, the left wing of the Democratic party has gone off the rails with identity politics. Centrists, like myself, and the right wing of the Republican party (oh, that is the entire Republican party) are sick of identity politics and political correctness, and if the SJWs keep up the nonsense, they are not only going to alienate Republicans, but fellow Democrats as well. There’s an excellent book about this problem by Professor Jonathan Haidt, called The Coddling of the American Mind https://amzn.to/3dwRTZn in which he discusses the utter lunacy that’s taking place in some of the most elite college’s in America.

The way I see it, there’s too much derision and hate between the two parties, but it’s not an even split. And this is hard to hear for my Republican friends. First I have to say a few words about false equivalency. If, for instance, the kid next door throws a rock and breaks your window, that’s misbehaving. Now your kid gets a stick, hits the rock-throwing kid over the head and he needs stitches. So would you say that they’re both bad boys and need to be grounded. Of course you wouldn’t. You would realize that your kid might need therapy. Well, the same goes for political parties. When people are asked their opinion about politics and Washington, they often say “They’re all crooks and liars.” This blanket statement excuses them from having to think critically. In other words, they should try to figure out who is throwing rocs and who is hitting people on the head with sticks.

Even when they had control of congress and the Presidency, the Republicans passed very few bills besides a tax cut that disproportionally favored the rich. Instead of offering solutions to problems, they’re mission in life seems to be to stop anything the Democrats suggest. At one point during the Obama administration, the Republicans blocked their own bill because they didn’t want Obama to get credit for it. In 2008, not to long after Obama won the election, Mitch McConnell, the then Senate Majoring leader, said that his main goal in the Senate was to make sure Obama didn’t get a second term. That’s called obstructionism. Political scientist, Norm Ornstein, has written several books about politics, and they have been accepted and praised by people from both sides of the aisle. Ornstein is a centrist and he has tried to approach the subject politics even handedly. However, when the Republican party reached the point where one could justifiably call them the party of obstruction, Ornstein and Thomas Mann decided to write a book about it called It’s even worse than it looks. https://amzn.to/3wLUGDU

I’m not about to let Democrats off the hook. They need to stop assuming that all people living in the “heartland” are racists or goobers. And stop calling the Midwest and the South “The Flyover States.” That’s rude and downright stupid. Be a little more charitable.

People on the right: Please stop hating Democrats. They have no plans to take away your guns or your Bibles. The fact that you can’t admit defeat, implies that if the Democrats govern, it’s the end of the world. Both sides must stop exaggerating the level of danger the other presents.

Finally, in the words of Rodney King: “Can’t we all get along.”